What Is Toyota’s Weirdest Car?

From a pickup-limo crossover to the Lightning McQueen of Camrys, these are Toyota’s weirdest cars, past and present.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Toyota’s name is synonymous with practicality and reliability—not the weird, the funky, or the downright bizarre. 
But the Japanese automaker has its fair share of offbeat vehicles, from the butterfly-winged Sera hatchback to the futuristic Mirai, the first mass-market hydrogen-powered car. 
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Toyota’s weirdest cars of all time

Most of Toyota’s weirdest vehicles—the real head-turners (and, in some cases, head-scratchers)—aren’t on the market anymore. To find the weirdest of the weird, we looked back at the 1990s and the early 2000s, when there seems to have been something in the water at Toyota’s innovation hubs. 

Mega Cruiser (1995-2001): A Hummer and a half

Electric blue Toyota Mega Cruiser
Let’s start with the Mega Cruiser, a 200-inch, 6,283-pound barge of an SUV designed for military use in 1995. A full-size (and then some) SUV with four-wheel drive and a turbo diesel inline-4 engine, the Mega Cruiser could hold 15 passengers, not including the driver. 
Although it was mainly used by the Japan Self Defense Forces, the Mega Cruiser was available to civilians. However, only 133 units ever went to drivers outside the armed forces. 

Classic (1996): Throwback Thursday at Toyota

Black and red 1996 Toyota Classic
Looking at the Toyota Classic, you could be forgiven for thinking it was one of Toyota’s first-ever models. In fact, this limited-edition sedan was produced in 1996 as an homage to the Toyota AA, the company’s first production car originally released in 1936
Only 100 Toyota Classics ever sold—and at roughly $75,000 apiece, you paid a price for the luxury of the weird. 

WiLL Vi (2000-2001): How do you do, fellow kids?

Toyota WiLL Vi (2000-2001)
2000 was a wild year. The Y2K scare shook the globe, frosted tips were everywhere, and Toyota collaborated with Panasonic to create the WiLL Vi, a comically ill-fated attempt to attract hip, young 21st-century buyers.
From a shell-like roof cut off abruptly by a vertical back window to wheel covers styled like sand dollars, the pastel WiLL Vi combined the straightforward mechanics of a Toyota with the vibes of your aunt’s beach-themed guest bath. It was basically a
styled like a personal CD player, and it didn’t capture the hearts of the millennial generation like Toyota hoped, so it died a quiet death in 2001. 

Tundrasine (2015): Somehow not an April Fool’s prank

Tundrasine (2015)
If that name doesn’t evoke any images for you immediately, let’s break it down. The Toyota Tundrasine—which never made it past the concept stage—is a combination of “
” and “limousine.” 
That’s right: in 2015, Toyota imagined its full-size pickup truck as a limousine. This 26-foot behemoth, which Toyota marketing manager Steve Applebaum called “the pinnacle in executive transport” when
it debuted at the SEMA display
, looked more like a burly automotive caterpillar than a luxury ride. 
The Tundrasine never saw the open road—and perhaps that’s just as well. It seems as though Toyota’s design experts were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should. 

Sera (1990-1995): Float like a butterfly

Sera (1990-1995)
Perhaps the single weirdest vehicle to come off of Toyota’s production line was the Toyota Sera. With the doors closed, the Sera looked like what it was: a relatively unassuming early-90s hatchback coupe not too different from the ever-popular
When the doors opened, though, everything changed. For one thing, they opened up, like butterfly wings, not out (think DeLorean). For another thing, they took most of the glass roof with them
Why did Toyota make the Sera? We may never know. Maybe the release of Back to the Future Part III in 1990 got to their heads.   
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Toyota’s weirdest cars you can buy right now

The 1990s may have been the apex of Toyota’s, er, imaginative design—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any weird Toyotas on the market right now. If you’re looking for a Toyota apart, check out one of these unique models. 

Prius Nightshade: If Darth Vader drove a hybrid

Prius Nightshade
Starting price: $29,545
Toyota Prius
was once the gold standard for hybrids, but lately, it’s been outpaced by some of its competitors, like the
Hyundai Ioniq Blue
. Maybe that’s why Toyota just started offering the Prius with the intimidating
Nightshade package
The Nightshade treatment tricks the Prius out with black accents, black-painted alloy wheels, and three striking paint colors, including a Midnight Black Metallic shade that transforms your trusty little car into the Darth Vader of fuel-efficient hatchbacks
It’s not as ridiculous-looking as some of its predecessors, but there’s a notable clash between the Prius’s crunchy reputation and Nightshade’s high-drama noir styling. Still, with a starting price of $29,545, the Prius Nightshade might be the cheapest way to feel like you’re getting the best MPG in the Galactic Empire. 

Camry TRD: Not your mom’s Camry

2020 Camry TRD
Starting price of $33,845
Toyota Camry
is pretty much the quintessential mid-size sedan. With high safety marks, practical performance, and conservative styling, it’s a timeless pick for a dependable family car—it’s just not exactly cool
Well, the
Camry TRD
has something to say about that. Introduced in 2020, the TRD (which stands for Toyota Racing Development) is a weird but undeniably fun mix of Camry dependability and race-car flair. 
From its V6 engine and sport-tuned suspension to its tight, sporty aerodynamic body and unapologetic rear spoiler, the TRD is a Camry that’s not a Camry—and it starts at just $33,845. For a car this unique, that’s a bargain. 

Mirai: Welcome to the future—only in California

2022 Mirai
Starting price of $50,525
Unlike a lot of the cars on this list, the
Toyota Mirai
doesn’t look weird. From the outside, it looks like a fairly standard, if somewhat futuristic, mid-size sedan. 
It’s what’s inside that makes the Mirai a weird Toyota: it’s powered by hydrogen using Toyota’s proprietary Fuel Cell System, which combines fuel cell and hybrid technologies for a true car of the future. 
In 2015, it became the first mass-market fuel cell vehicle on the US market, and it’s still almost without competition (the Hyundai Nexo is the other major player in the field of hydrogen power). 
Here’s what makes this cutting-edge automotive wonder truly weird: it’s only for sale in
, one of the only states with hydrogen fueling stations. (It also starts at $50,525, putting it solidly out of reach for a lot of Golden State drivers.) However, as fuel cell technology moves forward, we may see the Mirai break out onto new roads in the future. 

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